A sneeze, cough, achiness and a fever are all early signs the flu or a flu like illness. No one enjoys being sick, but unfortunately, during the fall and winter seasons, it’s common to catch a cold, if not the flu. However, you can reduce the likelihood of contracting these illnesses with some basic preventative steps. Use the advice below and share it with others such as your nanny or babysitter and other family members to increase your chances of staying healthy this season.
The flu is short for influenza, a viral illness that becomes more common during the fall and winter seasons each year. Last year’s flu season was brutal, resulting in 80,000 deaths. While usually mild, the flu’s symptoms can also become severe, resulting in complications such as pneumonia, which can be life-threatening or result in death. Some common flu symptoms include: stuffy nose, sore throat, fever, aches, fatigue, headache, and cough. Anyone can catch the flu, but those with chronic conditions as well as the elderly and young children are at highest risk for suffering complications from the flu.
So, what can you do to prevent the flu?
Check with your local healthcare provider about the flu shot, which is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older. While not guaranteed to save you from catching the flu, it does lower your chances. In addition, if you do get the flu and you’ve had the shot, you’re less likely to suffer a complicated case.
You’re always touching objects that could be full of germs. From your credit card that gets passed from hand to hand to the grocery cart and door knobs, germs are easily spread by touching items that others touch. You can kill these germs with a good hand washing routine or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Encourage your children to wash their hands often as well. In addition, make sure that your childcare provider is also on board to help you build good hand washing habits for your kids.
Stay away from people who are show signs of being sick. At the same time, it’s best to stay home if you have flu symptoms as well. This will help prevent the spread of the flu. This goes for the whole family as well as your babysitter.
If you do get the flu or a flu-like illness, make sure you cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Use a paper tissue to cover up and then dispose of it afterwards. Teach children to sneeze and cough into their elbow, as this is less likely to lead to the spread of germs than covering with the hand.
With these steps, you can help reduce you and your family’s chances of contracting the flu. However, if you do get the flu and have severe symptoms or you don’t get better, be sure to head to the doctor. Sometimes antiviral drugs may be prescribed to help you recover, or other measures may be taken to ensure you get better soon!
We wish you a safe and healthy season!